Archive for the ‘Business Networking’ Category
Have you ever opted-in to receive a newsletter, or to establish an account on a website, and you receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription or your request for a new account? This is known as a double opt-in, and it's law, according to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
This law is meant to protect consumers from deceptive marketing, unwanted pornography, and to give subscribers a clear path to opt-out of any subscription. But what does it mean for you, the business owner at the other end of the law? It means that if a potential client or subscriber shows intent to sign on for your offer, you must receive confirmation from them before you may proceed.
On the downside, this law whittles away at your opt-in list because many people will not respond to your email requesting them to click to confirm. Often, they're wary of emails asking them to click on an unknown (or forgotten) link, due to well-meaning, but fear-inducing, warnings about viruses, malware, spyware, and other internet predator ploys.
On the upside, those people who take the time to respond to your opt-in request are genuinely interested in your product or your service. They will contribute to the overall high quality of your list with promising purchase potential.
So, how can you increase the number of people who respond to your request for confirmation?
• Offer an incentive that they can't refuse when you send your double opt-in email. Offer a free bonus, a savings coupon, or a membership discount if they confirm their opt-in.
• If you have their phone number, contact the prospect to remind him or her to click and confirm.
• If you collected physical addresses at the time your prospects expressed interest (maybe you gathered business cards at a seminar or conference), use the physical addresses to send personal cards or notes reminding them to confirm their opt-in. You can help to keep your correspondence out of the garbage by:
- Handwriting the address on the envelope: it looks more personal, and much less like marketing material. It works…just ask master direct mailing professionals.
- Using a real postage stamp: not a metered stamp.
- Writing a personal note on the back that makes opening the envelope irresistible: something like, "Here's the information you requested," should do the trick.
- Using a white or colored envelope instead of a manila one: it has a greater chance of making it to a recipient's read pile.
- Crafting your postal correspondence with the care that comes with believing that this will be your only chance to elicit a response: Gary Halbert, a master copyrighter, would recommend that you treat each piece of written copy as if your life, and the life of your family, depended on a response to it. You probably have only one chance to make a good impression.
Contacting prospects via standard post is more effective than it once was, simply because the definition of junk mail has moved from the mailbox to the inbox. Spam has become a bigger pain than a mailbox full of confetti material, so a handwritten letter or card can seem like a breath of fresh mail – one worth opening.
Work to build your list of opted-in contacts, and you'll multiply your revenue building opportunities. But remember; be prepared to step outside of the email box to get those opt-ins.
In conclusion, do your absolute best to capture those subscription confirmations with incentives and a variety of contact methods that would please our friends at the FTC. And once you build your list, know that you'll have quality contacts who have raised their hands high, dubbing themselves as promising prospects with very deliberate purchasing intentions.
Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at http://www.clientmagnets.comTweet
How does it make you feel when you receive a thank-you note, penned in your friend's own hand? Or how revealing is it for you to study someone's signature, or to appreciate the time that they invested in writing a unique, personalized message with good, old-fashioned ink?
Handwriting has become a bit of a novelty. We communicate with texts, IMs, emails, and spoken words. The handwritten, post-marked letter has virtually gone the way of handlebar mustaches and hoop skirts. So when you see your name and address in script on the front of an envelope, your curiosity is piqued, right?
In marketing, it can be helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. If you'd like to receive a handwritten note, most of them probably would, too.
The handwritten note theory has been tested by direct mail experts and copyrighters, and the results have been overwhelming: it works.
Here are some arguments for hand-lettered script on envelopes and in correspondence:
• Since the early 1990s, even before email was the overwhelming choice for correspondence, handwritten notes were endorsed by professional marketers. If hand-crafted script was a welcome addition to mailboxes back them, imagine how novel it will seem now that we're fully immersed in the Information Age.
• "Pen and ink" catches a mail sorter's eye. Think of how you sort your own mail. If you're like most, you separate it into two piles: the "I need to read that later" pile and the "ditch it, it's junk" pile. Handwriting gives your correspondence a better chance of landing in the more favorable stack.
• A note, card, or letter with a personalized feel will always feel more valuable. It flatters its recipient, and makes him or her curious to know who would spend so much time on the thought of them.
• If you use handwriting to communicate, at least a portion of the time, your communication will be among the minority, making it unique and worthy of a second glance. Many marketers have heard of the advantages of handwritten notes, but few will make the effort to do it. This gives your effort a "noted" advantage.
Now maybe you're thinking, "Geez. I'm already buried under a mountain of work. Where in the world am I going to find the time to sit down and write out notes to prospects?" Here's the beauty of this approach: it's so simple, anyone can do it.
Your niece or nephew can do it. The neighbor kid can do it. Your grandma can do it. A student or intern can do it. The handwriting doesn't have to be yours, it simply has to be handcrafted.
Actually, adding one more demand to your growing business isn't advisable. Instead, think "automated." A good idea or good fortune shouldn't equate to more work. But it should call for a system to handle it. Even if you're only writing 30 cards per month, and you have no problem fitting that task into your schedule, you must have a plan on the back burner…for when a big idea, or a big success, hits.
There will always be marketing trends to follow. There will always be the next big thing, onto which you'll want to pounce before your competition gets the chance. But, putting all of that aside, some things simply never go out of style, and handwriting is one of them.
In marketing, your handwriting grade isn't earned with sweeping curves, crossed Ts, and dotted Is, but rather, it's earned with the regular use of this versatile tool that simply never seems to go out of style.
Bernadette Doyle created Client Magnets Ltd to help self-employed people solve one of their biggest business problems: attract a steady stream of clients. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at http://www.clientmagnets.comTweet
When you meet someone for the first time, you have a chance to make a real connection, or you can just pass on your name and be forgotten. Successful relationship-building requires more than just handing out business cards. To build long-lasting, solid and mutually-beneficial relationships, a little homework and a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. Here are my tips for making an impression that brings lasting results …
Research the People You're Meeting
If you're meeting someone in particular, research the person or people you're meeting. Lots of resources exist that can give you both professional and personal reference material. The Web is a source of myriad information, with things like company websites, personal bios, work histories, resumes, portfolios; depending on who you're meeting, you may be able to find a wide range of information about your contact.
If the Web doesn't yield any useful information, you could check with the company where your contact works, to see if they have any marketing information containing professional info about your contact. You could also check periodicals, such as magazine stories, newspaper articles or professional interviews. Depending on how public the person is that you're meeting, you may be able to find everything from the name of a spouse to the first place he or she worked out of college.
Use the information you find when you meet your contact. Talk about common interests, such as being dog owners, adoptive parents, yachters; whatever common bond you can form with your contact can help you form a good relationship. Ask about things near and dear to the person's heart – not just business talk – and you're well on your way to forming a real connection.
Ask Questions and Show Genuine Interest
Get to know people to form real connections. Ask questions about everything; not just their professional life, but their personal interests and family life, too. The more you can show that you understand, know and really "get" the person, the better your relationship will be, and the more business opportunities you're likely to gain. Be a real person to your connections, too – if your new business partner volunteers information about his wife, talk about your wife. The more personal you can make your relationships with people, the better your long-term success with those relationships will be.
Have Fun Making Connections With All People
Everyone can have fun building good relationships – all you have to do is be genuinely interested in people. Enjoy getting to know your business colleagues, or even that woman you met on the street the other day. Forming connections with people can help in all aspects of your life, and even random connections can help your business in unexpected ways. You never know when someone will refer a key contact; an affiliate who may have great products for your prospects, or a business or distributor that could make your product a high-demand success!
Don't just see people as stepping stones to a better business. Form real, legitimate connections by getting to know people, and I promise good business will naturally follow.Tweet